All posts by Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

About Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after covering state, federal and local issues for the Kennebec Journal for three years. He's a Hallowell native who now lives in Gardiner. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2012 and is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.

Start the shutdown ticker if Maine lawmakers don’t cut budget deal Thursday

The special panel of six lawmakers trying to bridge their own gaps on Maine’s two-year budget is setting a deadline of noon today to finish their work, but there was no agreement on the sticking point — education funding — by the time they adjourned late Wednesday. There was some movement, with Democrats and Senate […]

What to expect from Collins, King when they question Comey today

Good morning from Augusta, where we’ll have an eye on the busy Maine Legislature and another on Washington, D.C., where former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after President Donald Trump fired him in May. Comey previewed his testimony in a seven-page opening statement released by the committee on Wednesday. […]

Maine House Democrats offer to trim school aid surtax in budget impasse

Good morning from Augusta, where House Democrats have blinked in a standoff over education funding, offering an deal to increase the threshold for Maine’s surtax on high earners and lower it from 3 percent to 1.75 percent. Republicans are on the record as wanting the surtax gone. Progressives still want to keep it and Senate […]

Maine ethics watchdog questions casino referendum funding

Good morning from Augusta, where Maine’s ethics watchdog may soon begin an investigation into the bid for a new casino in York County by a group that has been giving them plenty to think about during the last few months. Staff at the Maine Ethics Commission will recommend at a June 9 meeting that commissioners […]

Senate GOP’s $100 million school aid offer fails to break Maine budget impasse

Good morning from Augusta, where much of the attention right now is on Maine’s two-year budget, where a “huge gap” remains on education funding even after Senate Republicans came forward on Wednesday to propose $100 million in extra education funding. But the reception on that pivotal budget issue was more than frosty. Democrats pooh-poohed it […]

Maine budget negotiators remain far apart on school funding

Good morning from Augusta, where a Tuesday meeting of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee showed just how far apart Democrats and Republicans are on education funding with a key deadline on the state’s two-year budget looming in less than a week. After closed-door partisan caucuses over the Memorial Day weekend, the committee met yesterday to take […]

LePage doesn’t like newspapers. But he vetoed a bill hurting newspapers

Good morning from Augusta, where a heavier flow of bills moving to the floors of the legislative chambers means more vetoes from the all-time champion in that statistic, Gov. Paul LePage. The House of Representatives will vote on whether to override another five vetoes today, including one of a bill that would actually hurt Maine […]

LePage can count on House Republicans to stand by their man — to a point

Good morning from Augusta. The days are getting long as the Legislature moves into the last month of the session, when lawmakers actually start voting on bills in earnest instead of talking about them in news conferences and committees. And just as during the past three years, Gov. Paul LePage can rely on a firewall […]